/ see you swoon

Deer Park, 2002













It’s the Stendhal syndrome I am talking about. The swooning factor. That swooning feeling. It seems that when the writer Stendhal looked at some masterpieces (…) he could feel the pain depicted in certain paintings, he could hear the paintings talking, the figures in them moving around. He felt himself moving into the painting, being pulled into it. These were physical symptoms: dizziness, nausea, vertigo, even sexual arousal (…) Stendhal himself felt incapacitated for a day or so after seeing the masterpieces.” *


The performance takes its starting point from William Borough’s description of Stendhal Syndrome. It unfolds as an investigation into the possibilities to affect and be affected: a contemplation of love, language and loss. By drawing on a wide variety of source materials from Dostojewski, Henry Miller, Michel Foucault, Berthold Brecht, Richard Brautigam to Jean Luc Godard, Claire Denis, Serge Gainsbourgh and Peter Fonda, the performance constructs a poetic landscape made consistent through particular rhythms, feels and thoughts.

Devised and performed with Augusto Corrieri, Antoine Fraval, Thom Kovar, Donna Shilling and Katharina Trabert.

Developed at Dartington College of Arts. Won the Best Devised Piece award at the National Student Drama Festival, Scarborough, was invited to Elevator, National Review of Live Art, Glasgow, meeting point festival, Hildesheim, Junge Hunde festival, Antwerpen, and toured widely in the UK.



The existence of a European sensibility was beautifully realised in the most outstanding devised piece in the festival, See You Swoon, from Dartington College of Arts. Allusive, hypnotic, and made musical by rhythmic repetitions in many languages, the piece created by the seven international performers used dance, sound, amplified whispers, video, projected text and pot plants, not to tell a story, but to conduct a meditation on languor, language and loss. Few would be able to pick up every literary reference, but that was part of the piece’s provocative charm. Not only had every word and image been carefully calculated, every movement was executed with consummate skill. “

Robert Hewison, Sunday Times